Malvern Minute – Thursday
Malvern Minute

 

January 5, 2017 – Memorial of Saint John Neumann, Bishop

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A Reading from the holy Gospel according to John (1:43-51)

Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip.
And Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”

Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.
Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see the sky opened and the angels of God
ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

 

Reflect: As we proceed through the first chapter of the Gospel according to Saint John, Jesus continues his recruiting mission – by touching and reading hearts.  Once hearts are touched, as in the case of Philip, the new disciples invite others to “Come and see.” Aware that they have encountered God (who else can read and understand his heart), as in the case of Nathanael, they have to shout out a profession of faith, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”  This leads us to consider two important steps as followers of Christ: 1) the invitation to others to encounter Christ – “Come and see”; and 2) a profession of faith – “you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” As we remain in the early days of a new year, perhaps we can consider how to invite other to Christ and how to make a profession of faith.  We can’t do any of this alone. It only happens because the Holy Spirit is alive and well in our lives and in our world.  May God give us the grace to hear his voice and to make him known with our lives. Today we commemorate Saint John Neumann who came to the United States alone and penniless, but with a great desire to serve the Lord in the way that God saw fit. His entire life became an act of abandonment to the will of God. He experienced painful, lonely times that included severe physical ailments as well as emotional strains that tempted him to run away from it all. Through a quiet faithfulness focused on serving others, he was eventually ordained Bishop of Philadelphia where God used John to evangelize and to establish a growing Catholic Church in the eastern United States in the mid-nineteenth century.

How is God inviting me to “Come and see” him in a more profound way? How am I making Christ known with my life? What might Jesus be asking of me to do as an evangelizer for him?

 

Pray: Loving God, help to keep my eyes open to see you and my heart ready to recognize you whenever you call. Give me the grace to serve you by the choices and decisions I make with my life.  I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen

Saint John Neumann: Pray for us!

 

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

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